Actually love…

I’ve seen the movie Love Actually too many times to count.  While it is not my favorite holiday film, it’s one of my favorites and I generally watch it the first day that I begin decorating after Thanksgiving and usually once while wrapping gifts, and then almost always while I start the undecorating, which I am doing right now…well, now, as in I stopped undecorating to come upstairs and write.  I just stopped the movie after the office Christmas party scene where Karen, so brilliantly played by the glorious Emma Thompson, says to Harry, “you know she is darling, be careful there” regarding the attractiveness of the  stunningly sexy and provocative assistant named Mia…and I got a little teary eyed, wrapping up the Santas in tissue paper and bubble and storing and stacking them with care in a giant red Rubbermaid tote, because I know what is coming up shortly…and it is heartbreakingly tender, this part that crushes me so, every year…when Karen opens up her gift, a cd, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now…when she was expecting a gold necklace which she spied in her husband’s pocket after shopping…and she goes to their room and she cries and it breaks my heart every time I watch the movie, even though I know it’s coming, and I know what happens, because nobody wants to feel that way, ever, and if ever they have been broken-hearted or crushed or deceived, they don’t want to feel it again.  I suppose my tears are in solidarity every holiday, with good women treated badly and who deserved so much better…even when they are fictional characters…

I think when you actually love someone, care for that person deeply and wholly, and in friendship and with compassion, it is impossible to break that person’s heart.  You can make them angry, and sometimes you can utter things that you wish you could take back, and you can even make them sad, but if you actually love that person you could not do the thing that would be soul crushing and heart breaking.  What I’ve  learned most from Love Actually is that many of the people who say the words “I love you” really don’t know love at all.  If you really love a person the way you wish to be loved, then you could not ever do to that person a thing, or multiple things, that would devastate that person.  It’s actually that simple.  All of that *do unto others* business means that you have to walk the walk if you want to talk the talk.  You have to act in love if you wish to say the words.

I know that there are some people who do not like the holidays because of bad memories or maybe continually dashed expectations and so they just have a sort of “Bah” attitude towards these two weeks.  I am not one of those people.  I admit that I had a beautiful childhood and now have a beautiful adulthood and feel really blessed and lucky most days of the year.  I have a lot of love in my life and I am glad for it.  Even when I am having an off day, or feeling low or regrets or any kind of negative thought, I remind myself that I have one thing that many people don’t and that is love.  I am loved deeply by quite a number of people and I deeply love quite a number of people. It’s not anything I ever asked for, it’s just what I got, and it makes me happy. I have many favorite parts of this movie, and I have the same four parts that make me teary and sometimes cry, every single viewing, but more than anything I like so much that it reminds us, I mean, it tells us, several times, that love is actually all around, and we believe it a little bit more every time we see it.  If your life feels like it is missing love, I hope in this new year, you find it.  If you think that you were not as loving this past year as you could have been, I hope you love a little bit harder this new year.  There are lots of things we buy and give, but love really is the truest ‘gift,’ not just the words, not saying words but really doing it, loving.  As this year comes to an end, and I put away this dvd until next November, I want to wish all of you a happy new year, filled with friendship and compassion and love actually…

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